updated 02:25 pm EST, Wed January 3, 2007
Seagate 37TB Drives
Seagate may achieve an exponential increase in hard disk storage limits in as little as three years' time, according to Seagate researchers speaking with Wired. The storage device maker has revealed that a technology called heat-assisted magnetic recording, which uses a laser to temporarily heat the platter and store more information in a given area, could increase the density of hard drives to just over 6TB per square inch -- allowing full, 3.5-inch wide desktop hard drives to store 37.5TB of data. The increased space would hold the entire Library of Congress catalog in raw form, according to Seagate.
The magazine also reports that Seagate is working on a small, magnetic form of storage codenamed "Probe" that would compete directly against flash memory. No details of its capacity or performance have been revealed, though it too should become available in the next few years.